Esquimalt residents voiced overwhelming opposition to a proposed 12-storey development at a council meeting Monday night.
More than 100 people packed the council chamber with many expressing concerns over invasion of privacy, obstructed views and over-densification that would be imposed by the 12-storey structure at the corner of Head Street and Esquimalt Road.
The proposed buliding would be one of the tallest in Esquimalt.
"I have a single-family dwelling with children and that will seriously start impeding on our privacy, and to me the essence of what Esquimalt is as a community. It’s a family community," one resident said.
The developer, Lexi Group, had already received the green light before the town’s Official Community Plan was changed in 2018, capping new development at six storey. Now, Lexi Group and neighbours are at odds.
Through the OCP, the developer can request an allowance for 12 storeys, but needs to offer amenities as compensation. It will be up to council to make a final decision.
One of the key amenities being proposed is a medical facility that would operate out of the bottom two floors, but residents at Monday night's council meeting are calling it a farce.
“We are being bribed with a medical centre to change the character of our community," one woman said while addressing council.
Another man described the medical facility as a carrot being hung before a horse.
“If we review some of the reasons why clinics have closed, there are doctor shortages and doctor salaries and other things that aren’t being spoken about,” he said”
After listening to concerns from the public, Esquimalt council has asked the developer for more community consultation.
That will be followed up by another public hearing before council, likely in September.